My Big Game Day Menu

While Hubby watched the two remaining play-off games, I began the rather difficult task of putting together this year’s actual Super Bowl Game Day menu. (Truth be told, I was hoping it would be Kansas City and New Orleans Saints in Atlanta. How easy is that? Barbecue and Cajun dishes with a southern spin! Didn’t happen, but that’s okay, too).

You know me, I take menu planning very seriously. I love putting together menus. Some menus are more practical than others, just as some adjustments need to be made when life’s circumstances demand so.

Things are a little different this year. Both Hubby and Kiddo are working Super Bowl Saturday, the day before the big game. That means I’ve lost my Sous Chef and Chief Bottle Washer for all the prep work that is usually involved the day before a big party. It also means they will want to sleep in on the Big Day, having worked the day before. I know my guys, if I needed them, they would be up with the chickens to help. I love them too much to ask. That meant doing a little rethinking since most of the work this year falls squarely on my shoulders. I don’t mind, I just need to make sure my final menu doesn’t mean I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. It’s only been a few months since my heart surgery. Standing for long periods of time is difficult as my “donor” leg will begin to swell. Too much bending, lifting and reaching takes its toll as well. A short cut here, a substitution there and we could still have an awesome day spent with family watching the game.

And that brings me to our Game Day guests. I knew Dad would want some kind of a bean dish. That man loves his beans. Whenever possibly, I make him some slow-cooked beans. Kiddo has a few game day favorites that I knew I needed to include. Hubby loves his chicken wings. Those are all things I am happy to include. And then there were my sister’s little ones to consider. My nephew is a big fan of Croissant Sandwiches. He is disappointed when I don’t include these sandwiches in our family get together spreads. As for my niece, she shies away from anything spicy. My sister and her husband aren’t fans of “heat” either, so that was another consideration. And my Dad’s wife doesn’t care much for foods with an Asian influence. Again, these were all things I could work with.

I think it’s important when planning a menu to be aware of your guests eating preferences as well as any dietary restrictions that may exist. That’s not to say you need to bow down and cater solely to those needs, forsaking all others, but you should try to incorporate their tastes and restrictions into your entertaining style. We have friends that don’t drink Alcohol. That’s fine. I can offer wine and grape juice with my spaghetti supper. As a diabetic I don’t expect people to cook strictly sugar-free. Still, it is nice to have options. And that’s what I strive to do, to create options.

Game Day Menu
Bush’s Boston Style Baked Beans
Cocktail Smokies in Barbecue Sauce
Deviled Football Eggs
Margarita Chicken Wings
Mini Croissant Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Mini Croissant Ham and Cheese Sandwiches
Mini Croissant Roast Beef and Horseradish Mayonnaise Sandwiches
Mini Croissant Smoked Turkey Sandwiches
Slow Simmer Bacon-Onion Barbecue Meatballs
Touchdown Chorizo Bean Dip
Touchdown Macaroni and Potato Salad

Dad always looks forward to our potlucks because he loves my beans. With everything else I had going, I just wasn’t up to my Three-Day Boston Baked Beans. Yet I still wanted to serve beans. After all, Dad loves his beans and New England is in the Super Bowl (again), baked beans would represent them at the table. These beans are packed with all that slow baked goodness we’ve come to expect from Boston’s Beans, without all the work.

Bush’s Boston Style Baked Beans
1/2 lb Bacon, chopped
1 large Red Onion, chopped
3 large Cans Bush’s Boston Recipe Baked Beans
2 tablespoons Dark Molasses
1/2 cup Brown Sugar

Stack bacon strips together, dice into small pieces. Set aside. Peel and chop red onion. Set aside.

In a skillet over medium heat, brown bacon until almost crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.

Saute onions in the bacon drippings until just beginning to soften. Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.

Pour beans into the crock pot. Add Molasses and brown sugar. Stir to blend well. Add bacon and onions to the pot. Stir to blend.

Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 hours or LOW for 4 hours. Reduce heat to warm, serve directly from the crock pot and enjoy.

Kiddo loves those little Cocktail Smokies. He loves them in barbecue sauce or Teriyaki  sauce or just about any sauce. No question, Cocktail Smokies were on the menu. These are always a crowd pleaser. When I asked Hubby which of the many sauces possible he might prefer, there was no hesitation in picking barbecue sauce. So barbecue sauce it is.

Cocktail Smokies in a Barbecue Sauce
1/3 Cup Yellow Onion, finely chopped
1 (18 oz) Bottle of Barbecue Sauce
1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 lbs Little Cocktail Smokies

Peel and finely chop the onion. Set aside.

Mix barbecue sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and onions in a crock-pot. Stir well until brown sugar dissolves. Add Cocktail Smokies, stir to combine.

Warm on LOW heat 2 hours or until ready to serve. These little Smokies can be served directly from crock-pot. Fondue forks are great for snatching the Smokies from the pot.

I’m the Deviled Egg Fan. I guess it’s a throwback from my childhood. If you are having a casual party, you have got to include Deviled Eggs. A formal affair? If it’s a formal cocktail party, deviled eggs topped with caviar is fine, otherwise leave the eggs at home. The best thing about Deviled Eggs is that you can garnish them to suit the theme. Football eggs anyone?

Deviled Football Eggs
18 Hard Boiled Eggs
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Sour Cream
3 teaspoons Mustard
4 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt to taste
White Pepper to taste
Chives for garnish

Peel eggs and cut in half lengthwise. Remove egg yolks and place yolks in food processor with mixing/chopping blade. Place 12 white halves on serving dish or egg platter. Select best of the halves.

Mix/chop yolks until fluffy and are fine grade resembling bread crumbs. Add mayonnaise, sour cream and mustard and mix until creamy. Mix in red wine vinegar one tablespoon at a time and season to taste.

Spoon filling into egg white shells. Just before serving, garnish with chives to create football laces. If desired, place line serving platter with shredded lettuce for “field” effect.

There are certain things that spell “game day” for Hubby. One of those has to be Chicken Wings. He loves Buffalo Wings, Barbecue Wings , wings in soy sauce and wings that are fried. Anyway you make your wings, he is a fan. Typically, when I make my Margarita Chicken Wings, Hubby makes a big pitcher of Margaritas to use as a marinade. This year, I’m taking some liberty and going with a bottle of pre-made Margaritas instead.

Margarita Chicken Wings
Ingredients – Margarita Marinade
3 cups Margarita Pre-made Cocktails
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 teaspoons Margarita Salt

Ingredients – Chicken Wings
4 lbs Chicken Wings, thawed if frozen
2 Limes, cut into wedges

In a large, non-reactive bowl, mix Margarita, lime juice and salt. Stir until salt has dissolved. Pour Margarita marinade into a zip-lock gallon bag.

Rinse wings and pat dry. Place wings in the bag with the marinade. Close bag, pressing out as much air as possible. Lay flat in a rimmed baking dish and let marinade for several hours or overnight (best).

Heat oven to 500-degrees. Line a large baking pan with aluminum foil and coat lightly with oil. Arrange wings skin side up and brush with reserved marinade.

Bake wings until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Turn over, brush with marinade, and bake another 5 to 6 minutes. Turn once more, brush with marinade, and bake until skin is brown and glossy, 2 to 4 minutes.

Serve warm, with lime wedges.

A couple of years ago, for New Year’s Eve, I brought some Croissant Sandwich to the party. I love Croissant Sandwiches. Deli meats and salad spread just seem to taste better on a sweet Croissant. Croissant Sandwiches are big in California. So these sandwiches will represent the LA Rams at the table. (When I was trying to come up with something to represent the Rams, Hubby said whatever I did, there was no way he was eating Mutton – silly man). I remembered how much my nephew liked the Croissant Sandwiches. So it was a win-win decision. The Croissant Sandwiches allowed me to make four different kinds of Sandwiches without much effort. After all, variety is the spice of life, right?

Mini Croissant Sandwiches
Croissant Sandwiches
16 Mini Croissants
Green Lettuce Leaves as needed
6 Small Tomatoes, sliced

Slice Croissants in half to open for sandwiches with a top and bottom. Set aside.

Slice tomatoes for sandwiches, set aside. Break crisp leaves from a head of green leaf lettuce, set aside.

Chicken Salad Mini Croissant Sandwiches
1 Can White Chicken Meat
1 Rib Celery, diced
1/4 Cup Red Onion, diced
2 Tablespoons Miracle Whip
2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon Mesquite Seasoning

Open canned chicken, drain well. Crumble chunks of chicken meat into a medium size bowl. Set aside. Dice celery and red onion into small pieces. Add to bowl with chicken meat.

Add Miracle Whip and Mayonnaise to the chicken meat. With a spoon, blend mixture until smooth and creamy. If necessary, add a little more Miracle Whip if the mixture appears too dry.

Season with Mesquite Seasoning. This will give the chicken salad a smokey, Rotisserie  flavor. Set mixture aside. (The chicken salad can be made up to this point in advance. Simply cover and keep in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the sandwich).

Spread chicken mixture over the bottom of 4 croissant sandwiches. Top with lettuce and sliced tomatoes. Place top of croissant over filling. Secure with fancy toothpicks, if necessary or desired.

Ham and Cheese Mini Croissant Sandwiches
4 oz Swiss Cheese
4 oz Deli Ham

Stack sliced cheese and ham on the bottom of 4 croissant sandwiches.

Finish sandwiches with lettuce and sliced tomatoes. Place top of sandwich over filled bottom. If necessary, secure with a cocktail skewer or frilly toothpick. Set aside.

Roast Beef and Horseradish Mayonnaise Mini Croissant Sandwiches
1/4 cup Mayonnaise
1 tablespoons Prepared Horseradish
1/4 Red Onion, thinly sliced
4 oz Deli Roast Beef
4 oz Sliced Cheddar Cheese

In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and horseradish. Cut red onion paper-thin. Set aside. Spread mayonnaise mixture over the bottom of 4 sandwiches. Sprinkle red onions over the bottom of the sandwich.

Divide roast beef among the 4 sandwiches. Top with cheese. Spread remaining mayonnaise mixture over top of slices of bread. Place on top of sandwich, secure with fancy toothpicks. Set aside.

Smoked Turkey Mini Croissant Sandwiches
4 oz Sliced Cheddar Cheese
4 oz Deli Smoked Turkey

Stack sliced cheese and smoked turkey on the bottom of 4 croissant sandwiches.

Finish sandwiches with lettuce and sliced tomatoes. Place top of sandwich over filled bottom. If necessary, secure with a cocktail skewer or frilly toothpick. Set aside.

To Serve: Arrange mini sandwiches on a serving platter. If desired, garnish the tray with splashes of color using things like curly parsley, red leaf lettuce or small tomatoes. Keep tray covered with plastic wrap until ready to serve.

Note: The Ham and Turkey sandwiches have no condiments such as mayonnaise. When serving, place small bowls of mayonnaise and mustard with tray so that these sandwiches can be dressed as desired.

Another popular dish at parties and gatherings are Meatballs. While I do like making my meatballs from scratch using a variety of different ground meats for flavor and texture, with a good sauce and a little slow-cooking time, frozen meatballs will do the trick. Just remember to buy good-quality pre-made meatballs and your are sure to get raves.

Slow Simmer Bacon-Onion Barbecue Meatballs
3 Slices Smoked Bacon, chopped
1/4 Onion, chopped
40 Frozen Meatballs
1 Bottle Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory Honey Barbecue Sauce

Lay 3 slices of bacon in a stack. Using a sharp knife, slice bacon lengthwise into four strips. Cut strips width-wise to create chopped bacon bits.

Heat a dutch oven over medium heat. Crumble bacon and saute in dutch oven until almost crisp. While bacon is frying, chop onion. Toss onion into dutch oven with bacon and continue to fry until bacon is crisp and onions are nicely browned in bacon grease.

Place frozen meatballs into dutch oven. Using a large spoon, stir the pot to incorporate the meatballs with the bacon and onion.

Pour the barbecue sauce over meatball mixture, stir well. Heat over medium-low heat until the barbecue sauce just begins to bubble. Transfer everything into a crock pot. (If taking this to a pot luck or other function, now would be the time to pack it up for transportation).

Set crock pot to HIGH heat for about an hour or so, until the meatballs are heated through. Turn crock pot to LOW and continue to simmer until ready to serve, stirring occasionally.

Kiddo had suggested my awesome 37-Layer Taco Tip. It has been a while since I made this popular dip. I like to create a top layer that fits the mood of the day. In this case, it would be a football theme. But then again, there was another dip that is equally popular and perfect for the Big Game. This is actually two recipes combined to create one delicious dip.

Touchdown Chorizo Bean Dip
3 cans Pillsbury refrigerated French Bread
1 egg, mixed with a splash of water
1 lb Chorizo
1/4 cup White Onion, chopped
1 teaspoons Garlic, minced
16 oz Refried Beans
1/2 cup Sour Cream
2 blocks Pepper Jack Cheese
2 tablespoons Green Onions, chopped
1 Bag Tortilla or Corn Chips, scoop style for serving

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with foil. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Unroll one tube of bread dough onto the prepared baking sheet.

Set another tube of bread, unrolled, on top of the first bread dough. Shape the unrolled bread dough into one-half of a football. Set the final tube of dough opposite, shape into other half of football. Press the seams together to seal.

Whip egg with a little water. Brush egg wash over the football shaped bread bowl. With a sharp knife or cutting wheel trim around the edge of the football, removing the extra dough.

Lay two strips of extra dough at the far ends of the football, tucking under the ball to secure.

Roll a long strip for the center of the football to create laces. Cut shorter strips for the “laces”. Lay on baking sheet.

Bake for 28 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. While the football bowl is baking, make the meat filling for the dip.

Heat a skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add chorizo, cook and crumble as the meat browns, about 7 minutes or until cooked through.

While the meat is browning, chop onions and mince garlic set aside. Once the chorizo is cooked through, add onions and garlic to the skillet. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add the refried beans and sour cream, cook for an additional 3 minutes or until heated through.

Cut Pepper Jack Cheese into small cubes. Add 1/2 cup of cheese to the meat mixture and continue to cook until well-blended. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.

Dice green onions, set aside.

Once the bread bowl is ready, trim sides for more room. Fill with meat filling. Garnish with cubes of cheese and green onions. Arrange on a platter with chips for dipping.

Last but not least are the deli salads. I’m a potato salad gal, Hubby is a Macaroni Salad dude. People are generally one or the other. That’s why I like to combine the two and serve them together. This can be done using your favorite potato and macaroni salad recipes or getting a couple of large containers from your deli counter.

Touchdown Macaroni and Potato Salad
1 Container Deli Style Macaroni Salad
1 Container Deli Style Potato Salad
1 Football Shaped Baking Pan
Plastic Wrap to line pan
Chives to create Football Laces
Parsley to garnish serving dish (Optional)

Line football baking pan with plastic wrap. Fill half of the pan with Macaroni Salad. Fill remaining half of the pan with Potato Salad.

You’ll want to fill completely to the top of the pan. Smooth filling even with the pan top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate well, over night is best for salad to mold.

Remove top cover of wrap from salad. Place serving platter inverted over pan. Flip CAREFULLY and adjust placement while salad is still covered by mold to center on the serving platter.

Remove football pan, remove plastic wrap. Lay strips of chives down center of salad to create the football laces.

If desired, tuck parsley around salad for “grass”.

When serving, be sure to include one spoon for each of the deli salads.

Hope you have a great game day filled with awesome food, spirited competition and memorable commercials. 

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Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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